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Nick Whalen
Kyler Murray is the top QB in the 2019 class

Nick Whalen breaks down why Kyler Murray is his #1 QB in the 2019 draft class.

Mar 18th

Kyler Murray has graded out as Nick Whalen’s #1 QB for the 2019 class. There is a lot of buzz about Murray going #1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals and while taking him would involve selling low on last year’s first round selection Josh Rosen, the Cards would get a player that Nick compares to Russell Wilson. Playing in Kliff Kinsbury’s offense would only make Murray, an already extremely attractive fantasy asset due to his speed, even more coveted heading into rookie drafts.

Scouting Summary

Strengths Weaknesses
Arm Talent
Athletic Ability
Quick processor
Height
Consistency
Middle of the field throws

Draft Grade: Round 1 NFL Comp: Russell Wilson

NFL Draft Grade: Round 1

NFL Comp: Russell Wilson

Full Scouting Report

Murray will likely measure in shorter than his 5’10” listed height and it will attract the greatest amount of attention. However, it appears the NFL is in its most acceptable stage for short quarterbacks with Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, and Russell Wilson all being under 6’1” in stature. Now it’s time for Kyler Murray to audition on the big stage and see if NFL fans will be giving him a curtain call.

While Murray is short, his frame isn’t slight and he possesses some mass. Breaking tackles due to power isn’t a tool in his repertoire. Once a defender gets a hand on Murray, he will go down the majority of the time and gain minimal yardage after contact.

The strength to Murray’s running ability is making defenders miss, due to his great athleticism and taking advantage of space. He is extremely quick, but also has a good top end speed.

The biggest concern most have with running quarterbacks is the potential for injury. Murray, not only, makes business decisions by avoiding contact, he also doesn’t run unless it’s needed. Murray threatens defenses so much with his legs, they would prefer to keep him in the pocket, which gives him ample time to find open receivers.

While buying extra time in and out of the pocket is a positive for Murray, he also will scramble himself into pressure often. Developing his instincts to be more patient could really help him capitalize in this area.

Similar to Russell Wilson, Murray doesn’t prefer to step up in the pocket. Rather, he wants to move backward or outside to buy time to continue looking down the field. When pressure presents itself within the pocket, Murray will drop his eyes to avoid the immediate conflict, instead of delivering a pass with a defender in his face.

Kyler has a very quick release when throwing the football; only needing to flick his wrist for short passes and has a compact motion on longer attempts. Throwing the football is somewhat effortless for Murray and looks very natural. Murray won’t consistently use his lower body to drive the football on intermediate to deep passes and it takes away some velocity. His baseball background shines with his release and quick decisions.

Murray’s accuracy is good, but inconsistent. When throwing screens or to his running backs to the outside, Murray not only throws with great accuracy, but he leads the player to maximize their potential for additional yardage. He also shows accuracy on fade routes and to the outside on short to lower intermediate throws.

With passes down the sideline, Murray’s accuracy falls into the average category and becomes more inconsistent. Some of these passes can float more inside or not be over the correct shoulder of the receiver, which makes them more prone to being incomplete or intercepted.

Murray’s worst area for accuracy is down the middle of the football field where he misses on most of his targets and produces his most errant attempts. This isn’t the most surprising conclusion given his lack of height. Murray doesn’t always throw from a stable platform, but is even accurate leaning on his back foot. He generally makes smart decisions, even throwing to areas where only his receiver can make the reception. I

The ability to process information quickly is the number one trait needed for a good quarterback. Murray makes quick decisions while scrambling to run or throw, on run-pass options and when he has to move on from his first read. These quick decisions are clues into his processing and ability to potentially absorb what NFL defenses will try to throw at him.

Lincoln Riley must do a great job coaching up his quarterbacks because Baker Mayfield shows great command of the offense and knows where his secondary receivers are on every play. Murray isn’t quite on Baker’s level, but he showed enough growth in this area to be hopeful for the future.

The beginning of the FBS playoff game versus Alabama wasn’t ideal for Kyler Murray as he was pressing to make plays. However, once he settled down, he showed he belonged in that spotlight as he had many times throughout the season. The pressure of the game wasn’t too much for him whether he needed to convert a crucial 3rd down to put the game away or throw a touchdown pass on fourth down.

Kyler Murray is a very talented quarterback and not just as a runner. He creates mismatches due to his athleticism and arm talent. He processes information to find the open receiver and delivers the ball with accuracy. Murray’s greatest weakness to his game is inconsistency. However, he’s only started 17 games in college and still won the Heisman trophy! Murray is not a finished product and will likely develop even more as a player.

Insight by
Nick Whalen
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